Research areas and keywords
UKÄ subject classification
- Languages and Literature
- Specific Languages
- General Language Studies and Linguistics
Henrik Rahm is coordinator for the multidisicplinary research group The Annual Report - Words, images, numbers at the Pufendorf institute 2016-17. Members of the research team are: Sanna Skärlund (Swedish Linguistics), Matthias Baier (Sociology of Law), Åsa Thelander (Strategic Communication), Alexander Paulsson (Business Administration), Niklas Sandell (Business Administration, Accounting) and Peter Svensson (Business Administration).
What is an annual report? This question might seem trivial and naïve – it is a report on the economic situation of a company, of scientific interest only for scholars in business studies. However, an annual report is much more than that; it is a combination of words, images and numbers, communicating a multitude of messages and responding to different formal and informal expectations. The aim of this project is to explore and unfold this multifaceted nature of annual reports. To fully understand this complex artefact we believe that there is a need to approach it from a multiple discourse perspective with different competences.
I work with Robert Zola Christensen in research on Danish-Swedish communication. The first part of the project is called The rude Dane and the boring Swede? The interaction on a Facebook site of a Danish and a Swedish bank.
Due to the linguistic similarity, Swedish and Danish have been perceived as neighbouring rather than foreign languages. Swedes and Danes have more or less been able to interact using their mother tongue (so called semi-communication). However, several studies over the last decades have shown, that the mutual intelligibility gradually has decreased over time, and a recent study (Bacquin & Christensen 2013) even challenges the view of Swedish and Danish as neighbouring languages.
But one thing is the capability to understand the language of the neighbouring country; another thing is, if citizens in Denmark and Sweden actually use their mother tongues in the same manner in similar, comparable settings. Our assumption is, although the two societies are very much alike in almost every sense, that the Danes generally use a more expressive and outgoing language register, while the Swedes use a more factual and subdued.
The communication encompasses the double dialogue between the bank and the customers as well as between the customers in the threads at the Facebook site of Nordea in genres such as promotion of bank services, proactive communication with the customers in critical situations (such as delays in transfers) and questions from customers.